By Kate March, Attractions Ontario
With swimsuit weather finally here, what better way to soak up the sun and cool down than on a local beach! Ontario is home to more than 250,000 lakes, which means plenty of gorgeous coastlines. Our list highlights 15 shores that each offer their own unique essence and beauty. Whether you travel North or South this summer, pack your car and head to the beach, you might be surprised at how exotic and stunning an Ontario lakefront can really be.
- Cobourg Beach
138 Division St, Cobourg, ON K9A 3P3
Situated an hour east of Toronto and right off Hwy 401, this beach will have you feeling like you are Ocean front! With the strength of Lake Ontario, coupled with white sand, this must-visit beach tops our list. Washrooms available. Splash Pad and Playground. Lifeguards patrolling. Food trucks on site. $5/hour for parking.
- North Beach
440 North Beach Rd, Consecon, ON
This truly is a hidden gem! Situated right next to Sandbanks, this beach is over a kilometer of glistening white sand, strong Lake Ontario waves, both shallow and deep waters, perfect for a day at the beach. This provincial park is strictly day pass. Drive right up to the beach where parking is readily available. Pack a picnic, there is now option to purchase food on site. $18 for a day pass which can be purchased in advance at https://reservations.ontarioparks.com.
- Joel Stone Heritage Park Beach
125 Water St, Gananoque
This is a sandy beach along the St. Lawrence River – free to use and it also has a splash pad available for kids and public washrooms. Featuring a floating dock and platform for kids to jump off into the water, this beach is family friendly. There are benches and trash cans at the park. Pack a picnic; or, though food is not available immediately at the beach, the Thousand Islands Boat Museum is right on the edge of the park with a cafe or visit City Cruises Gananoque for a tasty ice cream treat. Parking is a short walk away. For more information on beaches in the area, visit: www.1000islandstourism.com/outdoor/beaches-and-swimming.
- Meaford Memorial Park
179 Grant Av, Meaford
This picturesque park which is also a campground boasts 468 metres of beautiful shoreline on Georgian Bay. It features many amenities including full-service campground facilities, public washrooms, concession/snack shack, two pavilion shelters, playground areas, a mini-golf course and woodland walking trails.
- Sunset Point Park
79 St Lawrence St, Collingwood
Sunset Point Park is an iconic Collingwood waterfront that boasts fresh air, Nottawasaga Bay breezes and showcases absolute beauty which makes this a special place. With a vast greenspace, the nearby Enviro-park, volleyball courts, access to waterfront trails, canteen area, playground and washroom facilities – this park has it all! The Chipper is on-site for snacks, ice cream & the best fries in town! Parking is $10/hour.
- Wasaga Beach
Photo courtesy of Louise Jackson Media
The beach at Wasaga stretches over 14 km of South Georgian Bay shoreline, making it the longest freshwater beach in the world. With lots of waves to play in, this spot is perfect for surfing the high winds. On calm days walk out as far as you can due to the sand bars. Wasaga has eight beach areas to choose from. Beaches 1 and 2 are the busiest and attract younger crowds; they are close to the shops and restaurants. No matter which beach you choose, BBQ and picnic or bike ride the trails. Locals suggest shopping at Pedro’s, or eating at the Dard and Bananas for a fun meal overlooking Beach 1. Sunsets are magical in Wasaga. This Ontario gem is a charming place and fun for all ages. Paid parking available.
- Bluffers Park and Beach
1 Brimley Rd. South, Scarborough, ON
Photo courtesy of © Destination Toronto
The Scarborough Bluffs are something spectacular to see, but did you know there is also a beautiful beach with a big sandy area to lounge and splash in? This spot is perfect for a day trip to Toronto, and not only can you swim and relax, but the views of the bluffs will also top off your stay. There is paid parking on site, as well as an ice cream truck for a snack. Washroom facilities available.
- Pier 8
47 Discovery Drive, Hamilton, ON
This newly redesigned space in the heart of Hamilton will have you in awe. Although there isn’t access to swimming, it has a lot of great amenities in the area including a beach area overlooking Lake Ontario, a play structure, a new extended boardwalk, public boat slips, a spot to grab a bit to eat, roller skating in addition to the array of activities and events that happen in that area. Pier 8 is free and easy to access.
- Christie Lake Conservation Area
1000 Highway 5 West, Dundas, ON
Looking for an all-in-one beach spot? Christie Lake has got you covered from hiking, swimming, boating, and fishing to biking, picnicking and even disc golf. This gorgeous lake sits on the Niagara Escarpment and is an ideal spot to spend with family and friends. At the far west side of Christie Lake, on the other side of Middletown Road is even more conservation area to explore. Parking available at Middletown Parking lot for $15.50 per day; or free with HCA Membership Pass. Open 7 days a week, from sunrise to sunset
- Polish Beach Club
697 Fox Pl, Harrow
The Polish Beach Club near Windsor Ontario has got it all! This gorgeous sandy beach is open to the public until October and offers a kitchen and bar (credit and debit only), a beach volleyball court, ping pong table, bonfire sites + kids toys rentals. With 300 metres of beach on the shores of Lake Erie, this beach is one you will want to check out. Parking available at the club.
- Seacliff Beach
Seacliff Dr. W & Forest Ave, Leamington
Seacliffe Park Beach, located in Leamington, Ontario boasts amazing views, sandy and shallow shores, and clean Lake Erie water, excellent for kids. This beach is home to the famous Tomato Splash Pad, as well as open basketball courts for the sports lovers. There is access to pavilions and barbeques so pack a picnic! Fully accessible parking and entry.
- Boulevard Lake
400 Lyon Blvd. West, Thunder Bay, ON
Located on the banks of the Current River in Thunder Bay, Boulevard lake has much to offer. Activities can include canoeing, kayaking, swimming, biking, walking, sightseeing, picnicking, rollerblading and dog walking (on leash). Supervision of the Main Beach takes place from June 29 – August 31. All swimming at Boulevard Lake is free for the general public.
- Chippewa Park Beach
Sandy Beach Rd off City Rd., Thunder Bay, ON
This sandy beach on Lake Superior is the gem known as Chippewa Park Beach. Offering the scenic views of the Sleeping Giant (a must-see when visiting Thunder Bay!), this spot boasts a refreshing beachfront perfect for relaxation and sun. Close to Chippewa Park, there is a multitude of activities for the whole family including an amusement park, camping, and hiking opportunities.
- Agawa Bay Beach
95 Broadway Ave., Wawa, ON
Located at the southern end of Lake Superior Provincial Park, Agawa Bay Beach stretches 3km of sandy beach and lined with stunning hills and cliffs of the Canadian Shield on either end. Enjoy paddling, body surfing or swimming. Just north of the Bay is the Agawa Rock Pictographs, one of the most famous Indigenous pictograph sites in Canada. Parking available for a fee through https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/lakesuperior.
- Pancake Bay Beach
12729 Hwy 17N, Batchawana Bay, ON
With over 3 km of fine sand, Pancake Bay Beach will make you feel like you are soaking up the sun on an exotic beach. The water is clear and crisp, and the sandy area is perfect for sunbathing, sandcastle building or simply taking in the scenery. Located an hour outside of Sault Ste. Marie, this beach on Lake Superior can be accessed through Pancake Bay Provincial Park and where daily rates for visitors apply. Batchewana Bay Beach is also in Pancake Bay, so you get 2 beaches for the price of one!
For more Ontario vacation ideas visit attractionsontario.ca or for Ontario itineraries or to plan your own roadtrip, visit ontarioroadtrips.ca.